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Thread: Importing a bike to Japan

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSquare View Post
    So, seems he has to de-register it, I have to get a temporary plate, then get Shaken, then register it with Shinagawa plate.
    Hassle, and a bit of risk that it might fail Shaken.
    But might still be worth it.
    Getting it registered with the Shinagawa plate is part of the shaken process. It probably would pass provided the exhaust is stock, all the electrics work, the tires are good, the brakes work and the headlight is aimed properly.

  2. #22
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    Default Importing a bike to Japan

    So, I found out that the bike is a Japan bike not a US import. So I think that the current owner has to deregister it from his base, and thenI register it to me. Cool.
    RedSquare
    Some pithy saying about biking, or a quote from a self-styled guru. Take your pick.

  3. #23
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    Default Importing a bike to Japan

    I think "A" plate means it underwent a different (less strict) standard of inspection in order to be registered. Since you're not eligible for an "A" plate it may very well be the case that shaken is going to be required as part of the registration process.
    Last edited by Mike Cash; 12-04-13 at 03:30 PM.

  4. #24
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    A-plate means it's under SOFA status. As stated you will need to deregister the A-plate and go through the regular shaken process to get a J-plate.

  5. #25
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    Default Importing a bike to Japan

    A follow up in case anyone is interested.
    The bike was SOFA registered, the helpful previous owner did a load of running back and forth for me.
    1) I paid for the bike (full asking price, tidy and ran well)
    2) We both signed the Transfer of Ownership and Power of Attorney forms
    3) I provided a photocopy of my Alien Registration Card, both sides
    4) PO took all that to the office on the Base and they gave him a stamped Bill of Sale (on the second attempt)
    5) PO took the BoS to the council and deregistered the bike. Not entirely sure what this involved.
    6) PO went to a LTO and got the blue form with all the bike details on. Now we were in business.
    7) PO delivered the bike to me, and took off the number plate and base entry sticker.
    8) PO took the plate and sticker back to base (they were most insistent about this)
    9) I went to Samezu LTO (next to the driving test center), with all the above paperwork and my Proof of Residence from the my Council office.
    10) I walked in and looked like a dumb Gaijin with very limited Japanese (a role that comes naturally to me), a very nice chap with very limited English charged me a very small fee to do it all for me. We had a slight wobble when I didn't have the pink form that you usually write on to change the registration details. A phone call to the Base confirmed that we only need the Bill of Sale, phew!
    11) With all my paperwork now in my name, and with a bunch of payment stamps, I happily walked over to the other building to get my number plate. Feeling pretty smug, I must say (this does not usually bode well).
    12) After some confusion and quizzical looks a helpful woman came over and said "Just ride the bike round the back for the inspection. You did book one for today didn't you? Because it's a two week wait for a slot".
    D'OH!
    Standing there in a suit I felt it might be rather obvious that I didn't drive an unregistered bike to the test center that morning. Perhaps that's why they initially thought I was registering a car.
    I had foolishly assumed that because the bike still had three months of paperwork from the PO that I could get the bike on the road now, and then get it inspected when the last one ran out. In the UK the license plate stays with the vehicle for life, the roadworthy MOT test is independent of the other paperwork, and change of ownership is done by writing the new owner's name on the bottom of the V5 form and sticking it in the post. This whole physical visit run-about is horribly meat-spacey, and the take a ticket and join the queue at window 14 lark reminds me of a hospital in Communist China, that I'd really rather forget. Unless having metal spikes jammed into your ears is your idea of fun? Each to his own.
    Just because the bike has changed ownership doesn't mean it's suddenly gained another wheel or the brakes have instantly failed. But apparently in Japan that could have happened, so they need to inspect it again, just in case it spontaneously changed back into a pumpkin when it changed hands. Gotta love the fee-generating busy work, keeps the unemployment low.
    Anyway, this doesn't distract from the fact that I am an idiot, and should have listened to Fastbike when he told me that I would have to get the bike inspected because the A Plate Shaken would be no good.
    Optimism 0 Reality 1.
    Imagine my disappointment.
    RedSquare
    Some pithy saying about biking, or a quote from a self-styled guru. Take your pick.

  6. #26
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    Default Importing a bike to Japan

    Having had enough fun for one day I went back to work and considered my options.
    Realising that however keen I was, there was no way I could carry a bike all the way to Samezu,
    I made the inevitable call to Fastbike, and he came up trumps.
    14) (yes, I know) Fastbike picked up the bike and took it away with him. Then ran it to his local test center and the next day down to Samezu.
    15) In another blow to my smugness I realised that I had recorded the odometer reading as 37,xxx Kms from a photo I had cleverly taken of the tachometer.
    Of my other bike.
    D'OH!
    Thereby cunningly halving the resale value of my new bike.
    16) With the amended paperwork (18,xxx Kms), a shiny new number plate and an important blue sticker, Fastbike delivered the bike back to me, to the theme tune from Thunderbirds, the bit where #4 comes out of #3, or something, as my bike came out of his van (well, in my head at least). Thank you!
    17) Plate and sticker attached I now have a fully road-legal 1987 Honda Super Magna VF750C!
    Now, if only I had an Oogata license.
    D'OH!
    RedSquare
    Some pithy saying about biking, or a quote from a self-styled guru. Take your pick.

  7. #27
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    Default Importing a bike to Japan

    In Japan, registration (touroku 登録) goes hand-in-glove with shaken. A simple transfer of ownership of a vehicle already registered is "meigi henkou" 名義変更. You bought an unregistered bike, which was also therefor an uninspected bike. Doesn't matter how long it may have had left on an inspection....especially one from a system you're not entitled to benefit from.

    You indicated several times in this thread an awareness that the bike would have to undergo shaken. Were you not aware that "shaken" means "vehicle inspection"?

  8. #28
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    Default Importing a bike to Japan

    Correct, I was not aware if what fitted together with what. I made the fatal Japan noob mistake of expecting some logical system based on bike condition and ownership. Oh what a fool.
    I now know better.
    RedSquare
    Some pithy saying about biking, or a quote from a self-styled guru. Take your pick.

  9. #29
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    Default Importing a bike to Japan

    Just out of curiosity, what was it you thought shaken meant? Sucks you had find out the hard way. The only oh-so-slightly bright side is that things learned through such bitter lessons do tend to stick with us, so you'll not be likely to forget any time soon.

  10. #30

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    Does anybody know what the requirement for bringing a Polaris ATV is? Do I need to do any kind of emission conversion or anything of that nature. It is a 450cc ATV and will only be used on offroad trails in Sasebo Japan area. Thank you everybody for any info you can provide. Matt

  11. #31

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    Great information on this thread, it has definitely helped me make the decision not to import my current new(er) bike. However, what is the condition if the bike is built before 1999? I'm looking at purchasing a 1980 BMW R100 in the US and bringing it over. Would there be any other specialized safety or emissions checks? Or just normal registration procedures.

    If it helps I'm going to be living under military SOFA status as well, but my sponsor has indicated my moto license may be limited to 400 cc and under for the first year as well?

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by roll2li View Post
    Great information on this thread, it has definitely helped me make the decision not to import my current new(er) bike. However, what is the condition if the bike is built before 1999? I'm looking at purchasing a 1980 BMW R100 in the US and bringing it over. Would there be any other specialized safety or emissions checks? Or just normal registration procedures.
    If it helps I'm going to be living under military SOFA status as well, but my sponsor has indicated my moto license may be limited to 400 cc and under for the first year as well?
    1999 or older and no brake or emissions certificates required. Much easier to register, but still will cost you between $500 and $1000 to have someone do it.
    I am not military but i am told riders have to meet with their commander and they are told what size bike they can ride for the 1st year. Either a 250cc or
    a 400cc.
    Apexmoto Inc - Dyno tuning, engine/chassis/suspension upgrades, repairs, shaken, tires & changing with balancing, graphics printing, stickers, media blasting, painting & powder coating.

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